Hey, 98.6 - It's Good to Have You Back Again...
Woke up on the sofa two hours before the morning does.
Yep, another night of vertical sleeping so the lungs are comfortable within that whole "exchanging-gases" system called "breathing".
Ever since the Chair went to visit the landfill, I've made due with 5 pillows, the Chain-Of-Lakes throw blanket, one piece of copy paper and a little tape.
The copy paper gets taped on the window to cover the light from the streetlight down the block. I like to see the snow and the dark, but that one streetlight is right at eye-level.
Whatever works, eh?
I awoke and groped for the cellphone. Punching the button I saw the time. Oh. And I actually felt wide awake. Well. Time to make the Elixir of Knowledge.
Then, out of habit, I punched the little icon for the weather. Huh.
13 below. Yesterday was the first morning in a week and a'half where the morning temp was above zero. I swear I heard The Northwood's standing joke whisper in my ear.
"Summer was beautiful last year. Yeah. It was on a Wednesday. It was a nice day."
I threw back the throw and was instantly motivated to get to the Reading Room and a hot shower, the temperature in the Dining/Living/Computer/Family Room far enough away from 98.6 to provide an urgency to the trip.
I'm sitting here an hour later, a hot cup of the Elixir of Knowledge next to the laptop and the faintest blush of gray outlining the black silhouettes of the eastern trees and houses.
I already wrote about cold yesterday.
Cold is old.
I'm old and cold.
I'm wasting time making things rhyme.
Another long draught of the Elixir. Therrrrrrrrrre we go.
Yeah. That might be somethin'...
The Elixir is excavating a thought wrapped in a single word.
I think I've chewed on this before...probably last winter. About this time. When all of the local people start to talk to themselves and contemplate eating their young.
Winter is tough when it's long. Like a long, popsicle-frozen millennia.
Anyway, hypothermia. 13 years of Search & Rescue, following dogs through the woods, has allowed our team to see what it can do and, on occasion, to experience its beginnings a few times (yeah, even the rescuers can get turned around every now and then).
The big thing about hypothermia is you're cold. And getting colder.
And here's a weird statistic. It's almost a 50/50 proposition that when the cold becomes deadly, folks will start to undress. We found one gentleman in his skivvies and socks, still clutching his cane. That one wasn't a happy ending.
Imagine being so cold that you think you're too warm.
When cold becomes warm. Wrong becomes right.
When you can't tell the difference anymore.
If you set the hypothermic victim by a fire, they could easily get burned. The bone-freezing numbness could allow burns that won't be felt until the damage is done.
The time-proven, safe way to treat hypothermia in an emergency in the toolies is a little more personal. Put the victim in a sleeping bag, take off as much of your own clothing as is socially acceptable, and crawl into the bag with them.
Yeah. You, them, and 98.6.
The sky is a lot lighter now. I watch columns of heat rise on thin, straight clouds from the neighbors' chimneys. Warmth going into a cold world.
We all need warmth. The warmth of Someone that cares enough to get close and share the warmth when I'm so cold that I don't know what to do to get warm again.
That's why He came. Why He's always reaching for me. And you.
To hold us close.
So we never have to be cold again.
Oh, yeah. I like that.